The Business Matrix: Thursday 29 March 2012


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The Independent Online

OpCapita bids to win Game parts

The turnaround specialist OpCapita submitted another bid to acquire parts of the troubled video-game retailer Game Group out of administration yesterday. But the retailer's syndicate of six banks is also continuing to evaluate a separate proposal to keep the UK chain on the high street, as part of a debt-for-equity swap.

Fenn Wright Manson is saved

John Hargreaves, Matalan founder, has brought womenswear retailer Fenn Wright Manson out of administration. Mr Hargreaves has bought the brand, the concession business in John Lewis and a small number of its 17 shops but not the concessions in House of Fraser. He intends to run Fenn Wright Manson as a separate business.

Turnover up at HarperCollins

George RR Martin's books behind the hit television series Game of Thrones and the memoirs of Peter Mandelson were among the best-sellers that helped the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's publishing giant HarperCollins to boost revenues to their highest in three years. Turnover rose 4.7 per cent to £254m in the year to June 2011.

Roaming charges to be capped

The European Commission, lawmakers and governments have agreed to reform mobile roaming fees, allowing consumers to pay less for calls, texts and mobile web services when travelling abroad, in a measure that could hit telecom-industry profits. The deal, which will cap call charges at 29 cents a minute, is set to take effect in July.

Adnams cheers rise in sales

The brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams saw sales rise to £54.6m in the year to the end of December – up from £50.9m the previous year. The Suffolk company said underlying profits rose slightly to £3.3m from £3.2m. The company reported a 13 per cent increase in like-for-like turnover in its Cellar & Kitchen business.

Online growth for DVD distributor

Entertainment One, the distribution company behind Peppa Pig and the Twilight films, has seen accelerating revenue growth from downloads and online streaming. The latest installment of the Twilight movie franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 1, has also been the top-selling DVD so far in 2012.

Risk back on for Icap clients

Icap is starting to see some renewed appetite for risk from its clients after months of caution. The broking giant, founded and headed by Tory donor and Downing Street diner Michael Spencer, confirmed that profits for the year to April will be at the upper end of City forecasts.

Evraz steels itself for difficult year

Evraz, Russia's biggest steel maker, warned the outlook for this year remained tough after its 2011 profits missed forecasts, falling 4 per cent to $453m. But it is still paying a 17c-a-share dividend, which will net Chelsea FC's Roman Abramovich $79m on his 35 per cent stake.

Domino's falls for German market

Domino's Pizza UK has pushed the button on expansion in Germany, following a rise in first quarter sales. The pizza delivery company said it planned to triple its fledgling estate in Germany from six outlets to 18 by the end of this year.

Carillion wins contracts for £95m

Carillion has won two support services and construction contracts worth a total of £95m. The group will provide energy efficiency facilities to 92 properties for British Gas owner Centrica and will also work on a development project at Gatwick Airport.